First British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships 2022 was a splashing success!

Photo courtesy DSS-GB

The first ever British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships took place from 19-20 November 2022 at the K2, Crawley in West Sussex and was a splashing success.

Elite swimmers competed at the highest level in a national competition, with many world and personal records being set, inspiring a new generation of novice swimmers who also competed at the event.

Organised by Down Syndrome Swimming Great Britain (DSS-GB), the inaugural event saw 135 swimmers aged between 10 and 50 – all varying abilities compete in 44 events.

Andrea Manson BEM, Trustee, Down Syndrome Swimming Great Britain, said:

“The swimmers have been training hard over the last few months in preparation for the Championships, which are a great way to recognise the amazing talents of athletes with Down syndrome.  Swimmers with Down syndrome are not able to compete in the Paralympics.  This competition marks a moment in history that we’re so proud to be part of.”


Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, SportExcel UK said:

“It’s an incredibly important event.  The first of its kind.  I hope it spurs discussions in the UK about full inclusion of swimmers with down syndrome in governing body events to support the development of the competitive pathway to Virtus events to enable all those swimmers who want to achieve at the highest level.”

‘I feel privileged to have been part of the event, and to be invited to officially open the very first British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships.  Congratulations to everyone who was part of making it happen and a big thank you to headline sponsors PowerDay for their support.


The event was supported by Mayor Jilly Hart and SportExcel UK, Crawley Council and was sponsored by PowerDay, Keltbray, and Slalom UK.

Swimmers with down syndrome have opportunities at an elite level through SportExcel UK to the Virtus Championship programme including the Virtus Global Games.  Class II2 is confirmed as a full medal class at Virtus events and includes athletes with down syndrome.  Class II2 is not recognised as a distinct class in UK domestic swimming competitions meaning swimmers compete in class II1, intellectual impairment.

Plans are underway to host the 2023 Championships.

See full British Down Syndrome Swimming Championships competition results

Read more about eligibility and classification here